Liow announces plans to counter flood problem in Bentong

Counter measures: Liow (left) inspecting one of the retention ponds at the Chamang Baru village in Bentong recently after flash floods hit the village over the past week.

BENTONG: There is a ray of hope for the more than 250 families in the Chamang Baru village in Bentong who have been putting up with flash floods for the past two years, as efforts are under way to remedy the problem.

Over the past week, villagers experienced flash floods with some claiming that the water rose to waist level and left behind four inches of mud in their houses.

Some also claimed that the water washed down large pieces of wood to the village roads.

Villagers pointed to the four retention ponds on a hill above the village, which overflowed in heavy rain, as part of the reason for the floods.

However, some relief is on the way as MCA president and Bentong MP Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has announced that short and long-term measures will be planned to counter the problem.

“The short-term plan is to install a 40m pipe to channel excess rainwater from the hill to the nearby river,” he said, adding that a RM60,000 budget was approved by Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) for this move.

“The long-term plan is to build a better drainage system for the village.

“This will have to be planned by DID,” said Liow, who is also Transport Minister, when visiting the village where he also inspected the ponds.

He added that the department would have to estimate the cost of the long-term project.

Liow said the flood mitigation measures were imperative because the heavy rain could cause the banks of the retention ponds to burst and the houses would be affected.

“We do not want any disasters to happen,” he said.

Pahang MCA chairman Datuk Hoh Khai Mun said the villagers had to put up with the flash floods since 2012.

“The four ponds on the hill were built to collect excess rainwater to prevent flooding but over the years, the ponds collected sand and became more shallow,” he said.

Villager Chew Ah Moi said the flash floods over the past week was one of the most serious ever experienced by the village.

“The water gushed down from the hill and looked like a waterfall. The water current also carried long pieces of wood to our streets,” said the 78-year-old.

She said a lot of mud was left behind after the water receded and this caused much inconvenience to villagers who had to clean their houses.

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